Manufacturing and Distribution Dashboards

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In the world of Business Intelligence, today’s dynamic, flexible dashboards are ensuring that Manufacturing and Distribution companies comprehend company data for stronger decision-making. 

Dashboards are the leading Business Intelligence (BI) software, according to a recent study by Software Advice, a comparison site for Business Intelligence (BI) tools.  Their survey zoomed in on software for Chief Financial Officers and their results pointed to dashboards, scorecards, and performance management software as the most important tool for business leaders today.  If you are charged with managing a manufacturing and distribution company, you understand the fast pace of your business.  Dashboards respond to that by providing quickly and easily understandable analytics.  In particular, dashboards are charts, graphs, and scorecards that showcase data trends, opportunities and threats with key performance indicators (KPIs) for departments, projects and the entire organization.

You’re used to seeing a dashboard in your car, and BI dashboards are similar in that you can quickly make decisions by glancing at a visualization of your operational and transactional data.  The primary difference between a dashboard in your car and BI data visualizations is that the BI product invites interaction, adjustment, and analysis for deeper understanding.  BI data visualizations are built with drill-down and drill-to capabilities, so you can richly inform decision-making processes about the future of your manufacturing and distribution company.  At this point, hopefully, you get it: dashboards are the hottest BI product in the business world today because they are so powerfully accessible.  This article will zoom in on dashboards for the manufacturing and distribution industry.

Manufacturing Dashboards 2015

Let’s begin by discussing your data sources.  Today’s dashboard tools can pull your company data from multiple sources.  You can generate analytics with real-time information by integrating live from Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and/or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or additional data sources.  Dashboards built from direct integrations are preferred for professionals who depend on up-to-the-minute data, and smaller companies that require less complex ERP system dashboards, without the need or ability to maintain BI databases, like a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube.  However, bigger organizations usually need a higher performance and the stability that a BI data store can offer.

Selecting a data warehouse or an OLAP cube integration empowers larger corporations to design dashboards without making the data source system server sluggish due to significant and/or simultaneous data queries.  Investing in a BI data store is an additional cost, and you’re also responsible for ensuring that your data is replicated to the data warehouse or OLAP cube, but the high performance is worth it for some companies.  Some dashboard tools allow the user to choose when they would like to integrate live for more urgent analyses, with real-time data (i.e. tracking a customer order), and pulling data from a BI data store for routine data visualizations for more regular analyses, like staffing.  This flexibility is quite value-laden and helpful today, without being too expensive.  And this is just the beginning of the list of considerations to make when shopping for the right tool for your team.

To continue learning more about dashboards for manufacturing and distribution companies, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc.

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